Ep 96: Why CRNAs Need to Understand the Judicial System

When you think about your future as a CRNA, you likely to see court playing any part in it. But as nurses are included more and more in lawsuits, there’s a chance you could end up in front of a judge. The best way to be prepared is by understanding the legal process and your role in a trial. Judge April Wood brings nearly 20 years experience on the bench and will share what she knows on the show today. 

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

If you’re in the healthcare industry long enough, there’s a good chance you or someone you know will get called into the courtroom. It’s an unfortunate reality for many people, and it’s made worse by our lack of preparation.

That’s what we want to help change on this episode of Beyond the Mask. We’ve known Judge April Wood for years and have enjoyed many conversations about the legal process during that time. We’ve learned a lot from her and want to help bring some of that insight to the podcast so that you’ll have a better understanding of the judicial system. 

Our guest today has served as a district court judge in North Carolina since 2002. The majority of the cases she handles that involve children and families. In that role, she hears a lot of testimony from doctors and nurses on a regular basis and that’s what her and Sharon started talking about quite a bit.

In addition to that, SRNAs are now being taught how to behave in the courtroom, which is important because CRNAs are getting pulled into lawsuits more often. Sharon has seen it first hand and that’s why we feel it’s important to have this conversation today.

Beyond how our profession is directly impacted, we will also talk about how judges are elected and find out more about Wood’s campaign for the North Carolina Court of Appeals. It’s each of our responsibilities to do the homework and then make sure you actually vote on the judges in your regions. Too often those positions get ignored on the ballot or get chosen for the wrong reasons. Judge Wood tells a story about one person that voted for her based on the move Legally Blonde. That actually happened.

So let’s get the show started. Here are some of the other topics we will cover on the show:

  • Background on her career as a District Court Judge
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Why you need to pay attention to what you wear.
  • She’s running for Court of Appeals
  • The election process for judges
  • Reason that Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

2:43 – Introducing our guest, Judge April Wood. Sharon tells the story of how they got to know each other well.

5:00 – Background on her career

8:30 – What does a judge look for when someone is testifying 

9:29 – Know what you’re talking about

12:28 – How should you dress in court?

14:40 – Be aware of judiciary 

18:27 – The process of becoming a judge.

22:11 – Current campaigns   

24:46 – What is merit selection? 

26:47 – How many people voted actually voted on judges last time?

30:53 – Why is Supreme Court a lifetime appointment?

33:15 – What we want to get across to CRNAs

35:08 – How to learn more about Judge Wood

38:31 – Final thoughts from our guest.


“The longer I’m in politics, the longer I’m in policy making, the more convinced I become that nurses are critical to be in all of the rooms where decisions are made.”

-NC House Representative Gale Adcock





COVID-19 Pandemic

Ep 213: Moral Injury and Nurse Anesthesia

With the increased distress and rationing of care that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of Moral Injury (MI) has started to garner much more attention in the world of healthcare. This repeated conflict between an individual’s morality and the management of care causes a deep emotional wound that often drives workers out of the profession altogether. Jerry Hogan, DNSc, CRNA wrote an article about this subject, so we’ve asked him to explain the effects of MI and how CRNAs can resolve this conflict.

Current Events

Ep 212: Thankful for the AANA and Its Ongoing Efforts for CRNAs

It hasn’t been the easiest year for a lot of people, but we know there’s still plenty to be grateful for as we approach another Thanksgiving. Specifically, we wanted to shine the light on the AANA and everything they do for our profession each year. New AANA President Angie Mund, DNP, CRNA is a friend of the show and someone we appreciate quite a bit so we wanted to spend some time with her on this holiday to talk about everything she’s hoping to accomplish over the next year.


Ep 211: Anesthesia Management for a Pheochromocytoma

We’ve had CRNAs and SRNAs ask us to give them the essential information needed to manage a particular case and today we’re going to do that with Pheochromocytoma. This is the second episode in our endocrine surgical procedures series and there will be some valuable info that you might find on exams as well. Here’s the power-packed episode for anesthesia management for a Pheochromocytoma that we hope you get a lot out of.




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J. Cross CRNA
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This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
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I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
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I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
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I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
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If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.